Hampshire, partly surrounded by the English Channel and The Solent, is known for being the original birthplace of the RAF, Royal Navy and the British Army and its county town is Winchester, a historic cathedral city which was once the capital of England.
Hampshire lost much of its land during the Local Government Act 1987, where boundary changes took place throughout England. At its peak, Hampshire qas the fifth largest county in England covering 1400 square miles.
Along with its many seaside resorts, Hampshire attracts tourists for the motor museum at Beaulieu and national parks in New Forest and the South Downs. Tourism is a large economic segment in Hampshire, 1992 saw 7.5 million visitors recorded in the county.
Having a long maritime history and two of England’s biggest ports, Hampshire is famed for Southampton, Portsmouth as well as being home to Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the birth place of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The rural areas of Hampshire have traditionally been reliant on agriculture, concentrating on dairy farming, Hampshire as a whole has historically been less agricultural than most surrounding counties.
The four universities of Hampshire are the University of Southampton, Southampton Solent University, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Winchester, it also has several association football teams indluding, Portsmouth F.C., Southampton F.C. and Aldershot Town F.C. Hampshire’s foremost motor racing circuit is Thruxton Circuit being with the National Motor Museum located in the New Forest adjacent to Beaulieu Palace House.
Hampshire’s wildlife scene is very similar to the rest of Great Britain, with a developing population of otters in the River Test but quite low numbers through other areas in the county and reports of Wild Boar throughout the county. The New Forest is well known for the ponies which have free rein over much of it, along with a large herd of Red Deer, including over 6,500 stags at some points which also roam free.